Thursday, 29 April 2010

Election research (5)

Just noticed all this Digital Debate stuff.

Punchy, short answers from Brown, Cameron and Clegg on some questions asked by the public. So far the man in yellow has racked up a large majority of votes for his responses. I would be reeeeally interested to see if the results would be different if punters read anonymous statements (voteforpolicies style), rather than watching the videos.

On a nother note, I feel sorry for Gordon Brown. Hope he'll get a long holiday after all this. I don't think he's a particularly wise or charismatic leader, but he's been turned into a national bogeyman and that's not really fair.

But then again, he is entirely responsible for:
- The recession
- The war in Afghanistan
- The expenses scandal
- The shockingly low standard of our free healthcare
- The volcanic eruption
- The Islamification of Wales
- The BNP
- My bus being late


Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Noah's ark found! Up a mountain?

So, apparently some guys have located the remains of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat. The archaeologists are 99.9% sure it's the real deal but I'm still saying 'apparently' because my source is the Daily Mail.

Check this out:

The ensuing comments (100 posted in about an hour) make for interesting reading. Mostly they follow something along the lines of: "Ridiculous! Noah's ark is a story for kids. It's in the Bible so it can't be true. You'd have to be an idiot to believe something that I don't." Anyone caught suggesting that it might be genuine archaeological evidence for the Biblical account gets a sledging.

But then, these comments are from Daily Mail readers.

If you think I'm being unfair, just read this one (word for word, unlike my above paraphrase):
as a christian i have no problem in believing in noah,s ark but if this turns out to be the ark how do you explain how the ark managed to be 12000 ft up a mountain boats float

This guy needs to put the Daily Mail down and pick up a Bible.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald it wasn't archaeologists that made the discovery, but evangelists. Nice touch, Bruce. Journalism handy hint #1: if you want to discredit a source, use any of the following words: evangelical, evangelist, religious, spiritual, reverend, pastor, daily, mail.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Life at the moment

Here's a quick update for anyone who's interested.

At the moment I am:
- making good headway with Lis in our wedding preparations. Invitations are going out this week.
- about to become the joint owner of a house. Our completion date is 7th May.
- ploughing through the final block of my English Language course. I have one more assignment to write, then an exam in June.
- making a board game.
- having band practices with Try The Polish (contemporary Christian covers trio) for the Soul Purpose event in May.
- still working three days a week for Shrewsbury Youth for Christ and serving at Barnabas.

It's great to be involved in things that stimulate. At least five of the above activities are things I enjoy and get excited about, which is very cool.

People say, "you can do anything if you put your mind to it", but there are some occasions when your mind is already all over it. Know what I mean? I guess what I'm essentially saying is that at the moment, life's good.

God is good all the time.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Will Christians swing the election?

It could happen, says the BBC (I checked to make sure this article was a recent one, not from the last election or something).

We probably could swing it if we all voted the same way, but when is that ever going to happen?

Monday, 19 April 2010

Trumpton duck feeding disaster

I maintain that I do NOT have "too much free time", I just do interesting things with it, instead of watching CSI and whatnot.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Election research (4)

So, told me I should be voting Green, but I don't want to take their word for it. In fact, being told how to vote by a third party - hang on, that sounds confusing - lets say a third shindig, even if they are independent, makes me want to do the opposite.

So, another third party, sorry, third shindig online tool that excavates political views from the spaghetti of your brain is votematch.

The results are based on compatability rather than preference, so you end up with a more balanced score at the end. My results were different this time, but much closer. Hmm. Time to think a bit deeper perhaps.

Dave reminded me that every decision is a moral decision.

This simpleton has some helpful insights into our defence strategy.

Pondering all this is a good oportunity to think about where I actually stand on moral issues. Do I agree that war can be justified? Or are all sides equally guilty parties? Or should I say guilty jamborees?

Probably not.

(As in, I probably shouldn't say 'guilty jamborees' instead of 'guilty parties', not that war can probably not be justified or that all sides are probably not guilty parties or jamborees depending on what I decide I should probably not say.)

If you read this far, congratulations, you deserve a bon-bon.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Election research (3) - Britishness

UKIP seem to be cranking out their policies at snail's pace, with several still unavaible to read. Still, it's worth reading those that are, especially when you find brilliant quotes like this; "UKIP believes Britishness can be defined in terms of belief in democracy, fair play and freedom, as well as traits such as politeness."

For me, it conjured up* an image of bearded cricketers in line for tiffin at the tea-break, denouncing a queue-jumper with exclamations of "bad form old chap. Bad form".

*As a Christian, is it ok to use the idiom "conjured up", which connotes sorcery etc?

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

TV is bad for kids

I gave up on TV a while ago. Now, from researchers in Seattle, comes evidence to suggest it has a negative impact on the mental health of children.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Election research (2)

In my earlier post I didn't mention the Green Party, which was for no dark and sinister reason, I had just had enough of reading policies for the day.

The Greens are keen not to be seen as a "one policy party", and one website that is doing much to help them achieve this is voteforpolicies, which lets you choose policies from six parties without knowing whose it is, and then shows you a pie-chart of your preferences. The website claims to be an indepedent, voluntary initiative, but so far the Greens are doing incredibly well, leading some to accuse them of jiggery-pokery.

I wasn't hugely surprised, then, to find that I am apparently leaning in a very green direction. Here's the breakdown:

Green: 56%
Labour: 22%
Tory: 22%

So it's not a particularly diverse pie.

I also gather that the Greens are keen not to be seen using plasticene to make beans for teen Mylene who leans on unclean Dean and mean Irene. Allegedly.

Monday, 12 April 2010

We waste huge amounts of money

Normally the features on MSN aren't worth bothering with, but this one caught my eye. Apparently, if you drink, smoke and buy sandwiches for lunch you'll spend about £160,000 in your lifetime just on those.

The full report also mentions unworn clothes, never-used gadgets and unwanted Christmas gifts.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Election research

Unlike some people, I'm not a huge fan of politics. I find some of it interesting, but I never learned enough to really engage with all the policy debates and discussions about 'reform' and so on.

I used to think deciding who to vote for was a simple case of finding out whether you were 'left', 'right' or 'in the middle', and then supporting the corresponding party. This year I have decided to do at least a modicum of research before I cast my vote. So I started today by checking out some party websites.

The Tory website looks the coolest. I wish I could make my decision based on that.

Labour are trying to be cool, by having a live Twitter feed on theirs.

The Lib Dems have entirely copied Somerfield's colour scheme, much to my queasiness.

I knew, however, that to make an informed decision I should read some policies. Now, I have some funny ideas about what a policy document should be like. I think that it should say (briefly?):
- What your values are
- What you aim to achieve
- How you will achieve it
I do not think that a policy document should:
- Spend paragraphs talking about things you did in the last decade
- Contain copious references to the inadequacies of your rival

But then, I wish all policies were like the Monster Raving Looney Party's, who aim to "Make it illegal for super heroes to use their powers for evil" and "ban all terrorists from having beards as they look scary."

I also had a quick gander at the Christian Party, who have chosen a rather sumptuous shade of plum for their website.

The BNP are trying to be more acceptable, but still not cutting the English mustard.

Maybe I should have started earlier.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Rev. Graham Swaggers, Televangelist

This video is hilarious. But that's just my truth, you need to find the truth that's right for you.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Two more on Delirious?

Gareth explains why he is supporting the campaign, but basically says the band don't deserve it.

Tim, however, is quite clearly opposed to the idea.

I think that we do have a great opportunity here, but it'll only work if we're willing to go further than downloading a song. The fact that History Maker is being played on Radio 1 probably won't make such a difference, but it gives us a chance to talk to people about God. We won't often be able to say, "So, did you hear what's number one this week? What did you think about it?" and get an answer that references Christianity.

But my gripe is that we shouldn't have to manipulate a secular system in order to have an excuse to evangelise.